RAWALPINDI: After a ruling of the Lahore High Court (LHC), the cost of land to be acquired for the Rawalpindi Ring Road project has increased by Rs870 million.

Earlier, Rs6 billion had to be spent on the land acquisition but it has now increased to over Rs7 billion.

The landowners affected by the mega project had approached the LHC, seeking compensation at the market rate instead of one fixed by the government. The court accepted their plea and directed the local administration to pay the price of the land at the current market.

Talking to Dawn, Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chatha said the price of land for the Ring Road had escalated after the issuance of the direction by the LHC.

“We started work to implement the directive received from the court on Monday evening.” He said as per the estimates, the price of the land to be acquired had increased by Rs870 million and the administration had informed the provincial government about it.

He said the land for the 10 km patch of the road from Adiala to Chak Beli Khan had already been acquired, but the acquisition of land in the remaining 28 km area was in progress and Board of Revenue had recently fixed the price of land. He said as per the court directive, the administration would have to pay to the owners, whose land been acquired in 2021, at the current market rate.

He said the construction work on the road had started on the acquired land in 2021. The commissioner said for the eastern loop a separate consultant will be hired and the funds for the 14 to 17 km loop will be separate from that of the project.

It may be mentioned that for the 38.3 km road, a total of 8,992 kanals is required while 3,692 kanals has already been acquired and 5,300 kanals is yet to be taken over.

As many as 200 houses and structures would also be affected by the project and Rs500 million had been allocated for payment of compensation to their owners.

Earlier, the total cost of the project was Rs33.7 billion - Rs27bn for construction and Rs6.7bn for land acquisition.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2023

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